Ireland v Pakistan, 1st ODI, Dublin May 24, 2013

'Feels like a loss' - Kevin O'Brien

ESPNcricinfo staff

Despite securing a last-ball tie against Pakistan in the first ODI in Dublin, Ireland batsman Kevin O'Brien admitted that having come so close to victory, the result felt "like a loss". Ireland were set a target of 276 from 47 overs in a rain-affected match and they needed 15 off the last over bowled by Saeed Ajmal. Only two runs came off the first three balls before O'Brien hit a six off the fourth ball and took a couple off the next to bring the equation down to five off the last ball. O'Brien struck the last delivery for a four.

"It feels like a loss as we came so close, but just couldn't get over the line," O'Brien said. "If I had left [Saeed] Ajmal's delivery, it could have been a wide, but that is hindsight. You are in the moment and you just swing a bat on it. We are not out to tie games, and that is why it feels like a loss, to be honest."

After Pakistan scored 266 for 5 from 47 overs, the target for Ireland was revised to 276 as the Pakistan innings was interrupted thrice by rain. Ireland's chase was led by opener Paul Stirling with a knock of 103 - his fifth ODI hundred and second against Pakistan.

The two batsmen in the middle for the last over - O'Brien and Trent Johnston - were the same who sealed a stunning three-wicket win against the same opponents in the 2007 World Cup. O'Brien said it brought back memories of the World Cup and the two batsmen talked about it before he faced the last ball.

"Trent mentioned it before the final ball and asked: 'How about you hit the winning runs this time?'" he said.

Meanwhile, Pakistan batsman Asad Shafiq, who was involved in a 188-run partnership with centurion Mohammad Hafeez for the second wicket, gave due credit to the Irish players for putting up a competitive match.

"They played very well, and we are expecting another tough match," Shafiq said. "It will be very good preparation for our Champions Trophy campaign [in England in June]."

The second ODI will also be played in Dublin, on May 26.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on May 25, 2013, 12:14 GMT

    Ireland & Afganistan must get Test status asap to boom International Cricket.

  • Badar on May 24, 2013, 20:29 GMT

    Kevin you and the rest of your team are all big winners mate. Don't bother the record books; you guys have won millions of heart with your stunning performance not only in Ireland but in Pakistan and rest of the World. Cricket lovers pay due respect to brave teams like Ireland who know how to pose a challenge to big brothers. Ireland bring interest and passion which some other teams lack. When you're playing against them, don't expect a one sided match. ICC must ensure that teams like Ireland get more matches against top teams. This 2 match series is a joke as both Pak and Ireland were free from other engagements like IPL etc so they should have gone for a 5 match series. Considering all top teams reluctant to tour Pak because of the safety issue, efforts should be made to accommodate teams like Ireland, Scotland, and other Associate teams for short ODI tours especially when Pak get less games during the calendar year compared to other nations. They can even play away series as well.

  • Dummy4 on May 24, 2013, 16:59 GMT

    Fab stuff. While I do agree Ireland and Afghanistan have done enough in recent times to merit more matches in shorter formats (ODI and T20) - I'd advise against rushing them into a test status and creating another 'Bangladesh'. Let us take it step by step, invest in first class structure of these countries and then evaluate if they are consistently good enough for Test status. That said, Ireland has certainly shown itself to be a more than capable limited overs side, more so than Zimbabwe and Bangladesh with much lesser opportunities. They deserve more chances. (and it does feel like a loss, barring Duckworth Lewis, it would be their win)

  • Dummy4 on May 24, 2013, 16:22 GMT

    That's the attitude of a winner. Ireland will come far.

  • Pratik on May 24, 2013, 15:05 GMT

    A very hard fought match between two equal strength in these conditions, love to have 5match series between these two nations....

  • Dummy4 on May 24, 2013, 12:14 GMT

    I would love to see Ireland come to the Caribbean they are very good and seems to be getting better.

  • Dummy4 on May 24, 2013, 11:55 GMT

    @ Douglas.. your obviously talking about England and Aussie playing in Aussie during the summer

  • Mervin on May 24, 2013, 11:24 GMT

    If both teams batted 47 overs, then Ireland has been cheated. The D/L method should not have been used. ICC should award the match to Ireland. If this is really how this is supposed to be, then we have a serious problem with the D/L method. It needs to be revisited, retooled, or trashed completely. Usually the team batting last is always at a disadvantage.

  • Dummy4 on May 24, 2013, 10:21 GMT

    @Sreenath - Ireland's target was adjusted to allow for the fact that they knew before they batted that they would have only 47 overs, whereas Pakistan started their innings expecting to have the full 50. This system's been around for many years.

    @Anas - Makes up for English and Australian teams having to bat in 45 degrees while battling food poisoning. :)

  • Dummy4 on May 24, 2013, 9:54 GMT

    why they give over to ajmal/spinner hope they learnt by twice mistake

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